The Minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, has given planning permission for the first new nuclear power station to be built in nearly 20 years. The approved site is near the current one at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
This is the first step in agreeing the new nuclear power station, which if built, will consist of two new reactors which should produce enough electricity for 5 million homes.
It is being hailed by the government as a great low carbon alternative to other forms of power generation.
Edward Davey stated in his blog yesterday: “My job as Energy and Climate Change Secretary is to both power the country and protect the planet.” adding “Nuclear power delivers on both of these objectives.”
While the production of nuclear energy is undoubtedly ‘greener’ in terms of emissions, does the problem of disposing of the waste produced by nuclear power create a long-term problem which negates the benefits of the current production. It could be that the Minister’s argument is simply ‘Greenwash’ – attempting to put a green spin on a situation that is not actually green at all.
We recognise that the government has to make some uneasy choices, as our energy producing infrastructure ages. Most existing nuclear power stations and around 20% of the other power generating plants will have to close in the next 10 years. However having said that the alternative to investing in our ‘home generated’ power, (whether that is nuclear power or other forms of energy generation) is to buy it from companies overseas, which cannot make financial sense.
We would be really interested to know what you think about new nuclear power stations, you can leave comments here on our blog or head over to our DIY Doctor facebook page and let us have your thoughts.